Turning Point: Momentum gained early

After a lethargic first half in each of the last three games, the Vikings exploded out of the gate, scoring on five of six drives in the first half to bury the Giants and create a decisive turning point of the game. The players on offense and defense both knew it and were happy to see the momentum from the second half of the Bears game carry over.

The Vikings were under a lot of criticism after their December swoon that saw them drop three of four games. Much of the blame was leveled at getting off to slow starts. In the last three games, the Vikings hadn't scored in the first quarter and allowed the opponent to dictate the flow of the game.

There was no such problem Sunday, as the Vikings came out like a house of fire to blow open their game with the New York Giants early, creating an overpowering turning point of the game.

The Vikings won the opening coin toss and wasted little time driving down the field. Brett Favre sandwiched a pair of completions to Visanthe Shiancoe around runs of 10 yards by Chester Taylor and 22 yards by Percy Harvin – capping the drive with a 10-yard TD pass to Shiancoe to give the Vikings a 7-0 lead just two minutes, three seconds into the game.

The Vikings defense did its part early, getting Eli Manning and the Giants offense off the field in their first two drives, setting up a Vikings offense that was ready for more after scoring 30 points in the second half Monday night against Chicago.

"We came out on offense and executed," wide receiver Sidney Rice said. "We carried it over from the second half of the last game and showed what we can do. It seems like everything clicked and Brett found the open receiver every time it was there. It just kept building."

The Vikings continued the scoring onslaught – getting a 36-yard field goal from Ryan Longwell 14 seconds in the second quarter and, following a three-and-out from the Giants, getting completions of 50 yards to Rice and 27 yards to Shiancoe to set up a 1-yard touchdown run from Adrian Peterson to give the Vikings a 17-0 lead.

"It was one of those days where things were going our way," Greenway said. "The offense was explosive. They were explosive. Everyone could see it in the first half, second half, they were unbelievable. When you're playing like that and putting up points as fast as they were doing it, it made our jobs a lot easier."

The Vikings refused to take their foot off the gas once they got the lead. Favre threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Rice with 2:39 to play in the half and, after an interception by Greenway with just over two minutes to play in the half, turned the turnover into another TD. Favre and Rice hooked up for a second time for a touchdown to give the Vikings a 31-0 lead.

"This is the kind of game we've been working for all season," cornerback Benny Sapp said. "It let us know what kind of team we are. The goals we've been trying to get to were wrapped up in today's game. We played as one – from the players to the training room guys to the coaches to the equipment guys. Everybody was on one page today and we said all week we wanted to be dominant. If they wanted to lay down, we would let them lay down and do our business."

When all was said and done in the first half, the Vikings had scored on five of their six first-half drives – a dominance that would continue into the second half, as the Vikings would score on their first three drives of the third quarter to build a 44-0 lead. It was a case of momentum snowballing and just getting larger, creating a massive early turning point.


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